Professional Enquiry: Creativity: The Development of Subjectivity
Professional Enquiry: Creativity is a Post Graduate course which explores the concept of creativity through theory and practice. This article reports on students’ development of understanding in relation to creative processes and how this has impacted upon their professional identity. Educational policy in recent years has engaged increasingly with creativity as a valuable concept for education. Creativity as a concept remains elusive according to those who made attempts to unpack it (Bhom, Boden, Greene). Commonalities are that it is closely associated with risk (Bhom) and with new connections (Greene). Some indicate that it aligns with genius (Esyneck) but most suggest that we all have the capacity to be creative (Eisner,Greene). Questions remain as to how the creative processes might be embedded within educational practice which are not ‘the add ons’ (NACCCE). The insights provided by students on PEC go some way in addressing this question as they reflect on their own creative development and how this has affected their professional identities. We will draw on data resulting from seminars and individual discussions with students. PEC is a cross professional course which involves teachers, youth workers and those responsible for cultural provision across education. Students engage with theory and practice resulting in a small scale research project in their particular professional context. Students’ observations and reflections evidence a number of emergent themes in recognition of their own potential to be creative and the subsequent impact on their professional identities; the most significant being that engagement with creative processes is a performance of the self. Their language suggests an acute self-awareness which is described as ‘an intention to connect with the world’. There is however a darker side associated with vulnerability and risk. They are aware of the impossibility of creativity as it occurs in spite of obvious barrier and is at times enabled by them. The professional projects which students generated as a result of their own creative explorations suggest that the experience has gone much further than simply a better understanding of the concept. At times students make explicit statements on the impact which creative engagement has had not just on how they approach their practice as educators but how they approach life.
Keywords: Creativity, Subjectivity, Risk
Dr Heather Lynch
Research Fellow, Institute of Education, University of Stirling